The train stopped working this morning so Jacqueline took a bus. A woman on the same bus got down after three stops. She had her son with her – Jacqueline assumed it to be her son. She wasn’t rude or anything like that to Jacqueline but for the fact that the woman noticed her cheap shoes and lousy bag. The general message seemed to be that she has a rich husband. Jacqueline could see that she was wearing a Chanel as the prominent double c was there – unless it was an imitation.
They communicated with each other by thoughts with Jacqueline ended thinking – “yes unlike you, I don’t have a rich husband”. Jacqueline became impatient to be rid of Gordon Song. She was still attractive enough to engage someone and she remembered Trevor that day sitting on her sofa briefly.
Jacqueline knew that she could not quarrel with anyone. If a scene was created on the bus the journey would have to be disrupted and then the Land Transport Authority would be involved. It would prevent Jacqueline from getting back in time for Cher’s meal.
Cher needed her cat food.
Housebreaking did not always occur at night. Some thieves do break in by day. But of course the punishment was greater by day for the thief was showing to the law makers his blatant disregard – “committed under broad daylight.” The authorities had announced that there was a spat of housebreaking and it seemed that the total estimated losses amounted to over one million dollars.
You guessed it right. Cher was gone.
Jacqueline sat at her flat.
She was completely lost. She could not report the loss of Cher. She knew no one at the estate whereby she could talk to. She was not close to any of the neighbours. All she could think of was how to explain to Gordon Song when he came back if at all. The cat was given to her from him. He told her that Cher was an extremely smart cat so that if she didn’t find him, she could always depend on Cher to “sniff me out”, as he put it.
She knew Gordon’s number by heart. So she rang him now that Cher was not at sight.
“I am coming,” Gordon said over the phone. Jacqueline was hundred percent sure that it was Gordon on the other end. She recognised his voice at once. The minute she heard Gordon’s voice she was relieved that the man was still alive.
Sleeping Alone Story by Lee Su Min 22 Jacqueline sat in the dark for thirty minutes, afterwards she went to the kitchen to make herself some food. There was only one piece of leftover fish in the fridge, she reheated it and then she made some tea for herself.
Without Cher by her side, Jacqueline had the entire queen-size bed to herself, and she was able to sleep without waking up in the middle of the night. The cat always announced her need to use the cat litter beforehand, as though there was a lock to it, when in actual fact it could just hop in and release herself.
At night, Jacqueline dreamt that she was in a cave surrounded by loads of snakes. She knew that it was a sign that Gordon was doing something bad. But that she had no power to stop him as he was too far away, apart from the fact that she knew not where he was. In any case, Gordon never listened to her.
Trevor would have walked out of the estate this morning at 8:15 a.m. if not because of Mimi. When he woke up he found Mimi lying on the floor motionless. The bowl of milk and the chunk of fish was beside the cat but it had not been touched. It would have been clear to anybody with some common sense that his female company had taken ill.
Trevor decided to bring Mimi to the veterinary at once. He entered the words “cat hospital” on the search bar and was glad to find the Camila Veterinary Hospital within the vicinity. He carried Mimi and rushed out of his flat to look for transport.
Zubin could see Trevor taking Mimi out. This was the first time he saw the resident with the animal so he was a little curious. The animal looked exactly like the fawn which he saw at the bay window.
“This your cat?” Zubin started conversation.
“Yes,” Trevor didn’t want to say that he picked Mimi up from the bushes.
“Rather pretty looking,” Zubin said.
“I can’t get transport,” Trevor said.
“Let me help you,” Zubin stepped forward to flag down one of the oncoming cars.
Many taxis passed by and refused to stop. Finally one of them stopped in front of Zubin and wound down his window.
“Where are you going?” the driver asked.
“The Camila Veterinary Hospital,” Trevor said.
The man accommodated but on condition that Trevor paid him double the fare.
“I would have to clean out the car for the next passenger after you alighted,” was his reason.
Doctor Choo the vet gave Mimi an x-ray and declared that the feline must stay for the night for further observations. He brought Trevor to the cat hospital grounds and showed him where Mimi would be sleeping.
Trevor was shocked to see the animal shelter comprising of cages in several rows. He felt revolted and almost vomited.
Trevor was Mimi’s rightful owner now so that he paid for the hospitalisation fee. Before he walked out he promised doctor Choo that he would come back to collect Mimi.
The treatment for Mimi costs more than my own medical fees. Trevor thought to himself as he walked out of the hospital.
The way to treat an animal is not to treat him as an animal. A cat is not a cat unless you meow at her. The message that Trevor got now was very clear – that he was grounded permanently. If Trevor wanted to travel he would have to lock Mimi up here and now that he has seen the living condition he could not bring himself to put Mimi in confinement.
The next day duly at 10:00 a.m. Trevor went straight to the Camila Veterinary Hospital to pick up Mimi. He paid for the exorbitant hospitalisation fee and brought Mimi back to the estate, not forgetting to give the guard Robert Zubin a triumphant wave. And then it was fresh milk for Mimi as usual.
Jacqueline Jacqueline finally plucked up the courage to confront Zubin on the whereabouts of Cher.
“Ma’am, once I am off duty at 8:00 p.m., I have no idea who comes in. Who is this Cher? Your friend?” Robert Zubin exonerated himself right from the start.
“No, I am not asking about who came in, I am asking you about who went out,” Jacqueline was impatient.
But then further on she continued, “I am referring to my cat,”
It did not take two seconds for Zubin’s brains to tick.
“I can bring you there,” Zubin offered.
“Please!!!” Jacqueline was overjoyed.
Both security and resident walked along the path and arrived at the spot where Zubin first stood, where he saw the fawn creature. It wasn’t a porcelain and that was actually Trevor’s apartment.
There was a cat.
Jacqueline saw and without looking so much as one glance at Zubin she went into the unit to retrieve her lost creature. Trevor’s front door was open. Jacqueline rushed into his flat, almost tripped over the real feline lying on the rug. The porcelain cat was as it should have been – right in front of the bay window. At the same time they both heard a meow and almost like a small hurricane the real cat Cher rushed out of the flat.
Zubin was just too eager to pick up the fawn animal.
With the cat in his hands the security guard walked up to Trevor.
“Sir, I have found your lost pet and am now handing it back to you,” with clear English accent Zubin spoke.
‘My, of course, thank you,” Trevor replied whilst taking over Mimi the creature from Robert Zubin.
Cher alias Mimi
Even a cat knew who played a better master.